Cover art for Orchids of South-West Australia 4E
Orchids Wa, April 2019

Orchids of South-West Australia 4E 4th edition

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Our orchids have a unique beauty and possess a powerful appeal which draws all people from amateurs to botanists to seek out, admire, study and photograph. The Fourth Edition of Orchids of South~West Australia is a major revision of this States 438 species, of which 70 have been officially named since the Third Edition.

Also included in this edition are most hybrids.

The information contains up to date descriptions and many new photos. Measurements, flowering periods and distribution maps by courtesy of the Western Australian Herbarium are provided. The book includes a glossary, bibliography and indexes to the scientific and common names.

Previous editions of Orchids of South-West Australia have become very valuable and highly sort after by serious book collectors. This is a must-have book for anyone who is interested in wildflowers in general and orchids in particular.

With over 700 genera and some 25,000 species orchids comprise one of the three largest groups of flowering plants in the world. Many are extremely beautiful and their appeal is universal. The people of Western Australia and tourists to the State will be fascinated by Orchids of South-West Australia by Noel Hoffman, Andrew Brown and Justin Brown.

The principle purpose of this book is to provide an accurate and easy means of identifying the native orchids of this region. There is an excellent description of each orchid in which the distinctive features of each species and information on distribution, habitat, flowering period and the common name is provided. For every orchid there is also a colour photograph and map of its distribution. Orchids of South-West Australia is a must for all professional and amateur orchidologists.

Reviewed by Bill

Bill is one of the founders of Boffins and has selected the books we stock since the store began in 1989. It’s a job that he loves. Modern history, particularly Australian, Asian, British, European and American, is his favourite subject. Psychology, current affairs, and business books also figure prominently but he has eclectic tastes and may be seen reading the oddest of books in other subject areas. He seeks out cerebral fiction with a rule that if a novel hasn’t earned his attention by page 50 then it’s time to start a new one. Modern classics and some new fiction get put to the test. Fortunately, most pass. Occasionally, he’ll drop his guard for a well-executed thriller or an epic historical novel. Provided that they’re grounded in fact. As you can imagine, magic realism causes him great anxiety.

This is the fourth edition of this wonderful book. The first edition, published in 1984, had 160 named orchids. This latest edition has more than 450. 

Noel Hoffman is in his mid eighties, and he’s still besotted with the wonderful West Australian orchids that he first saw as a boy in the 1930’s, with his dad in the bush near Tambellup. He’s been finding and photographing them for most of his long life. Working with Andrew Brown of the W.A. Herbarium, and Justin Brown, this edition of their book is outstanding. 

It has everything you need to be an orchid hunter: for each orchid there’s a detailed description, a colour photograph, a map of its distribution, and its flowering period. It’s no surprise that it’s selling so well. I’m sure many enthusiasts are poring over the distribution maps and planning their trips for when the season starts in August.

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